A new opinion poll has found that 50% of voters would back Scottish independence in a referendum after the UK leaves the European Union.

The SNP-commissioned snapshot found support for independence tied with backing for Union as the Nationalists prepare for their national conference in Glasgow.

A majority of those polled - 52% - also said they would vote Yes if the UK crashed out of the EU with no deal.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Support for Scotland becoming an independent country is at historically high levels - above the hugely impressive result secured in the 2014 referendum.

“It also shows that regardless of the type of Brexit the Tories offer, the simple fact of Brexit will increase support for independence to 50%.

Ms Sturgeon is facing a tricky conference this week, with some activists wanting her to back an early independence referendum, while others are calling on her to devote her energies to stopping Brexit.

Two polls - one commissioned by the SNP on independence, and the other on Brexit by the People’s Vote campaign, which is calling for a vote on the final EU exit deal - show the dilemma Ms Sturgeon faces.

The first poll, carried out by Survation on behalf of the SNP and based on a sample size of 1,013, asked respondents by telephone how they would vote in an independence referendum tomorrow.

Around 46% - slightly higher than the 2014 referendum result - said they would vote Yes and 54% backed the union.

Asked how they would vote if the UK leaves the EU as planned next year, 50% said Yes and 50% said No. These figures were arrived at after “undecideds”, those who said they would not vote, and those who refused to say were removed.

On this question, the Yes side was in the lead among men, but not women, as well as 16-54 year olds, those who earn up to £39,999 and people who rent their accommodation.

In the event on a no-deal exit from the EU, the number backing independence increased to 52%, with 48% saying they would vote No. However, the SNP is opposed to this Brexit outcome.

The YouGov poll, by contrast, showed strong support among SNP members for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.

The sample of over 650 individuals found that 93% - once “don’t knows” were excluded - would vote to stay in the EU if they were given a chance.

Around 83% said they would support another vote, but this figure jumped to 89% once the “don’t knows” were taken out of the calculation.

Ms Sturgeon added: “These figures show that it is the SNP - and our vision of Scotland as a successful independent country - that offers people hope, at a time when the UK Government and the Westminster parties have brought only despair.

“This poll also reveals why Labour and the Tories are so scared of letting the people of Scotland make their own decisions on Scotland’s future. The more they arrogantly seek to stand in the way of Scotland making her own decisions, the more support for independence will continue to grow.”